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SRQ DAILY Jul 26, 2018

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"Senator Steube is a practicing attorney with his own firm and has never represented clients before state government."

- Alex Blair, Steube Campaign Manager

[Politics]  Steube Lobbied Congress While in State Legislature
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Greg Steube represented Sarasota County over the last eight years as a member of the Florida Legislature, but he also accepted thousands in taxpayer dollars to lobby on the county’s behalf in Washington D.C.

Steube, now Republican candidate for U.S. House in District 17, served as a state representative from 2010 through 2016 and a senator since then. But over most of that time he also worked for Becker & Poliakoff, a lobbying firm Sarasota County has contracted for federal lobbying since 2014. Steube in fact wrote the initial letter of interest to land the company the job in 2013, where he wrote he would act as “local liaison” for the firm and touted that he currently served in the Legislature.

It’s not against the law for state lawmakers to act as federal lobbyists, and the Steube campaign said he never crossed an ethical line. “Senator Steube is a practicing attorney with his own firm and has never represented clients before state government,” said Steube campaign manager Alex Blair in a statement. “Senator Steube’s former law firm represented clients at the federal level.”

Sarasota County paid Becker $120,000 per year since awarding the contract in 2014. Robert Lewis, Sarasota County’s director of Community and Government Relations, says the county previously contracted with Holland & Knight, but put out a new request for proposals in 2013. The county considered lobbying responses from both Holland and Becker that year, and elected to go with Becker based on objective standards, both in hiring the firm and renewing the contract. “A number of definite criteria were used in review of the 2014 contract,” Lewis says, and the company had to again meet county standards before county commissioners renewed the contract in June.

Lewis said county officials typically work with Amanda Wood, a Becker principal who previously served as legislative director for Democratic Sen. Bob Graham. Lewis said he only spoke to Steube two or three times ever in his capacity with Becker.

Steube left Becker in 2017 and started his own practice in 2017, but has filed federal disclosures since.

A lobbying disclosure filed in February with the U.S. House Clerk shows Steube’s firm, Legal Strategies & Consulting, received $10,500 to lobby for Sarasota County. Lewis said the county has never contracted with that firm and does all its federal work through Becker.

“There were some clients he continued to consult with from his former law firm, requiring him to file a federal disclosure until the end of the year,” Blair said. “Senator Steube filed a federal termination report at the end of 2017 and as of Jan. 1, 2018 no longer represents those clients.”

One of Steube’s Republican opponents in the Congressional race, state Rep. Julio Gonzalez, says he was “shocked” to learn of the county contract. “That is the very type of activity the Constitution Revision Committee is aiming to stop,” Gonzalez says, noting a proposed constitutional amendment this year that would prohibit state lawmakers from lobbying Congress.

Steube is running for against Gonzalez and conservative activist Bill Akins in the Aug. 28 Republican primary in U.S. House District 17. 

Pictured: State Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota

[ShopTalk]  2 Tickets to Timbuk2
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Timbuk2 or bust—this San Franciscan bag brand is en route to take over the travelers' scene—whether trekking from one café to the next, hands-free for all the coffees, or vagabonding from one state to the next, bearing all your life necessities. Timbuk2's been building top-shelf messengers, backpacks, laptop bags, travel gear/luggage, totes and accessories since 1989. Made with the kind of legendary durability that can confidently put its money where its mouth is; Timbuk2 backs every single product with a lifetime warranty. Having pioneered the messenger bag and providing services such as custom manufacturing, it thrives on purveying progressive trends before they’re even trendy. The CEO found her way from the big Bay City to our humble home here in Sarasota this past May. Total girlboss Patti Cazzato switched time zones for the day to make an appearance at SRQ’s Women In Business Initiative: Hear Me Roar luncheon at The Francis as honored guest and recipient of the 2018 Trailblazer Award. Bringing nearly three decades of global retail expansion, creative merchandising, product innovation and sustainable manufacturing expertise to Timbuk2, it was a no-brainer to dub Cazzato the queen of eco-conscious quality. 

And now, she is ready to unleash the recent debut of the Fall 2018 Parachute Collection—now at our cyber fingertips. The brand sets the bar high, supplying “intuitive, stylish and personalized bags to outsmart the city.” Thanks to its groundbreaking Tyvek Fabric that’s both super strong and lightweight (weighing in at only 0.61kg), the collection caters to any activity no matter how simple or rugged. “From hopping on a crowded subway to hiking through the Redwoods, this new collection is light enough that it won’t weigh you down,” says Cazzato. “From a backpack option for more extensive outings, to a hands-free sling perfect for a day of checking tasks off your list, we’ve provided a thoughtful option for each type of trip ahead.”

Snag yourself and your partner in crime a couple of Launch Packs for weekend getaways, all-day outdoor adventures or daily errands around the city. Test your decision-making skills with options of cool colors ranging from Blue Wish, Driftwood, Golden, Graphite and Olivine. The unstructured construction makes for easy carrying—featuring a water bottle pocket, side compartment access to laptop and files, maximum storage space, adjustable shoulder straps with daisy chains for accessories and silver reflective zipper pulls for nighttime excursions. The Launch Pack is even built with a trifecta of security thanks to a waterproof top flap, enclosed with a water resistant drawstring closure and wetsuit-style zippers. Throw one on to properly combat impromptu Florida thunderstorms while sauntering downtown. Keep the elements out weaving through cascading waterfalls while exploring the springs. The Launch Pack has got your back for every scene—with style, versatility and functionality to keep you moving.


Photos courtesy of Timbuk2

Shop the Launch Pack, $129.

[Pier 22]  Into the GROVE
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Bradenton's Pier 22 owner Hugh Miller and General Manager/Executive Chef Greg Campbell confirm rumors of a new independent dining concept—highly anticipated to take place of the vacant lot, formerly Polo Grill & Bar. The restaurateurs finalized a long-term lease agreement with Lakewood Ranch Main Street LLC and plan to fill the gutted space with lots of positive energy and an elevated aesthetic. The two visionaries are putting everything they’ve got into a multi-million dollar renovation for the 27,000-square-foot property. "We've been looking to continue to grow and diversify the restaurant and hospitality holdings—searching for just the right spot,” explains Miller. Concerning dining/entertaining options, Campbell mentions, "The area offers plenty of room for growth. It's an energetic and lively small-town community, and when the opportunity opened up to begin a new restaurant concept in the area, we knew we were a good fit."

Grove sets to be an upgraded venue for events as well, with a fully-equipped catering service for special functions, business events and fundraisers—featuring a 350-seat remodeled ballroom, including private dining rooms to host parties of up to 20, 40 and 60 guests, plus comfortable lounge areas and a huge outdoor patio component. Grove’s innovative dining experience will embody a “modern ranch-town vibe,” as described by Miller, with the ambiance "sophisticated yet inviting"—to really fit the diverse market they’ll serve. In terms of the menu, Campbell teases scratch-made gourmet meals, culinary cocktails and savory desserts. "We're committed to using quality, fresh ingredients and innovative cooking methods to inspire, nourish and wholly satisfy our guests," he says. “We’re focused on sourcing only the finest ingredients and then finding inventive ways to draw out those flavors," and mentions being stoked about the new restaurant's proximity to “Florida farming country.” Other exciting offerings include late bites for those night owls, a significant happy hour and a Sunday brunch to please the masses.

Carrying on the independent business model that Miller and Campbell have perfected at Pier 22, the team is determined to stay away from the trappings of chain restaurant mentality and create a wholesome, local-minded venture. President of Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty, Kirk Boylston said, “We are extremely pleased to have Hugh and Greg take over this significant piece of Main Street. We're all very excited to hear their plans for improving the building and the ballroom. We’re especially happy to know that the ballroom will remain in place to serve as a gathering space for our community's residents and businesses and we greatly look forward to the opening of Grove."

Slotted to open late fall. Stay tuned foodies!

Provided Photo: Restaurateurs Greg Campbell (left) and Hugh Miller (right) at work on their new restaurant and venue concept GROVE.

10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, 34202

[Government]  Manatee County Procurement Earns National Award

Manatee County Procurement has been awarded the 23rd Annual Achievement of Excellence in Procurement award (AEP) for 2018 from the National Procurement Institute, Inc. (NPI). The award is earned by public and non-profit organizations that obtain a high application score based on standardized criteria. The AEP is awarded annually to recognize innovation, professionalism, e-procurement, productivity and leadership in procurement. For 2018, there were 200 successful applicants, including 45 counties, 71 cities, 27 higher education agencies, 24 school districts, 26 special districts, and 7 state agencies. 

Manatee County Government

[Government]  Manatee County Accepting Applications for CSAB

Manatee County is now accepting applications for six open seats on the Children’s Services Advisory Board (CSAB). The volunteer board makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners about priorities and expenditures of the County’s dedicated millage for children’s services. To qualify for consideration, applicants must be residents of Manatee County. The open seats on the CSAB are for two- or three-year terms that begin October 1. The vacancies include: one representative from United Way of Manatee County, one representative from Department of Children & Families, one licensed mental health professional and three child advocates not affiliated with any agency receiving county funds. Applications must be submitted by 4pm on Aug. 16. The application and supplemental questionnaire can be found at the website below. 

Manatee County Advisory Board Applications

[Business]  Sarasota YPG Announces 2018 YP of the Year Finalists

The Sarasota Young Professionals Group (YPG), a program of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, is proud to announce the 2018 Young Professional of the Year Award Finalists. This award, which in years’ past has been announced at The Chamber’s annual Small Business Awards, recognizes a young professional in the Sarasota region that has demonstrated outstanding leadership personally, professionally, and in our community. Based upon scoring criteria, the individuals who qualified as finalists are: Rachel Denton, communications and voter outreach manager for the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections; Ashley Light, development coordinator for Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee; and Kelly Romanoff, project manager with the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. The winner of the YP of the Year Award will be announced at the YP Summit on Friday, August 10 at The Westin Sarasota. 

Sarasota Young Professionals Group

[Education]  LECOM Class of 2022 Begins July 27

The new class of Osteopathic Medical students will begin their studies Friday, July 27, 2018, at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in Bradenton. The 196 students of the Class of 2022 will embark on a four-year program that will see them involved with Problem-Based Learning (PBL), a small-group study method that is a hallmark of the Bradenton campus. Students will register Friday, meet Student Affairs support personnel and hear about campus security. Following a presentation of the financial aid programs available to them, students will attend an Introduction to Clinical Exam lecture given by LECOM Bradenton Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Mark Kauffman, D.O. On Monday, July 30, students will be introduced to faculty, attend a PBL overview, learn about Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards and attend their initial anatomy lecture. The Class of 2022 medical students will join the new dental and pharmacy students when they return to classes the following week. 

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

[Law]  Ruberg Joins Judge John M. Scheb American Inn of Court

Selected from many qualified nominees, Jodi Ruberg, a civil litigation attorney with the law firm of Kirk-Pinkerton, P.A., has been selected to become an associate member of the Judge John M. Scheb American Inn of Court. Patterned after the English Inns of Court, the American Inn of Court is comprised of a limited number of judges, trial lawyers, law professors and students. The Inn’s goal is to enhance the ethical and professional quality of legal advocacy. Ruberg joined Kirk-Pinkerton in August 2017 from SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, where she served as associate general counsel. She also serves on the board of directors of the Sarasota County Bar Association for its Division of Young Lawyers and is a member of the Leadership Sarasota Class of 2019. In addition to being a member of the Florida Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court, Ruberg is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. 

Kirk Pinkerton

[TODAY]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip from Little Sarasota Bay to Palmer Point Beach , July 26, 8:30am-11:30am

Join John Sarkozy, as he shows you the natural beauty of Little Sarasota Bay. All kayak equipment will be supplied to you and is included in the cost of the trip, which is $20 for ALS members and $25 for non-members. A short training session will be given before the trip for those who wish to take it. Take a break on the “crown jewel” of local beaches and take a swim or a walk before paddling back to the mainland.

American Littoral Society

[SOON]  MUSIC: 1st Annual Sun n Fun Music Festival , July 27 – July 29

This festival will rock Sarasota's residents and RVs. Bands featured include Kiss America, a slammin' Kiss cover band, the Shane Duncan Band for country music lovers, Rush Hour, an intriguing Countdown Reloaded cover band and many more. You will not want to miss this day of music, food and fun. 

Sun n Fun RV Resort, 7125 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Nights Out - ArtCenter Manatee , July 27, 7:00pm-9:00pm

Learn to make a Stained Glass Suncatcher with artist Pamela Kramer, using the traditional copper foil techniques with lead free solder. Many colors are available and all tools will be provided to complete your masterpiece! Bring a friend and start creating! Seating is limited so register today! Tickets cost $40.00 and include supplies, wine or beer, and light snacks. 

ArtCenter Manatee , 209 9th St West, Bradenton, FL 34205

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Friday Fest: Reverend Barry & the Funk, July 27 , July 27, 5:00 PM

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is continuing their Friday Fest summertime concert series with Reverend Barry & the Funk. Bassist and lead singer Barry Nicholson only has one goal for the band: to keep the crowd dancing all night long! The group regularly performs at nightclubs, parties, and private events around Sarasota. Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Prince are just a few of the classic artists that audiences will hear from this dynamic group. And while you’re enjoying the music, be sure to check out Van Wezel’s selection of food trucks, drink vendors, and more! This seven-piece band--including a live horn section--will make this Friday Fest the best one yet!

Bayside Lawn of Van Wezel, 777 N. Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  DANCE: The Summer Intensive Student Showcase , July 28, 2pm

Enjoy an awe-inducing performance by the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School's Summer Intensive participants. More than 50 promising young dancersfrom 15 U.S. states and 5 foreign countrieswill grace the stage with their mastery of ballet classics as well as contemporary works, created by SCBS' award-winning faculty.  

Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL.

[SOON]  DANCE: On Stage with the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School , July 28, 7pm

Experience a remarkable one-night-only show that includes selections from ballet classics—such as La Sylphide, Le Corsaire, and Don Quixote—as well as dramatic contemporary works performed by national and international young dancers trained in the exhilarating Cuban Ballet style. Watch special guest dancers from The Royal Ballet, The Royal Swedish Ballet, the Cuban National Ballet, and six other prestigious American ballet companies, as wel as ballet prodigy Harold Mendez in his first performance after winning the bronze medal at the 2018 USA International Ballet Competition!

Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave. Sarasota, FL.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Don Quixote , July 28, 4pm

“Don Quixote” is a ballet based on episodes taken from the famous novel “Don Quixote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes. Originally choreographed by Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus and first presented by the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, Petipa’s choreography reflects the local Spanish culture by incorporating the dance idiom into the movements and bringing Cervantes’ gypsies and bullfighters to life. This is a perfect family comedy ballet with rich costumes and sets and a host of colorful characters.

Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 3rd Ave. West, Bradenton.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip from Caspersen Beach to Lemon Bay , July 28, 8:30am-11:30am

Enjoy quiet water, open-seated kayaking and exploration from Casperson Beach to Lemon Bay. All kayak equipment will be provided and is included in the cost of the trip, which is $20 for ALS members and $25 for non-members.

American Littoral Society

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip On Shakett Creek and Dona Bay , July 31, 8:30am-11:30am

Have a relaxing time paddling through Shakett Creek and Dona Bay, led by John Sarkozy. All kayak equipment will be provided and will be included in the cost of the trip, which is $20 for ALS members and $25 for non-members.  

American Littoral Society

[SOON]  THEATER: Other People's Money , August 1 – August 19

Fast-talking Wall Street shark Lawrence Garfinkle has his sights set on taking over the undervalued stock of New England Wire and Cable. It is up to Kate Sullivan, a determined big-city lawyer, to stop Larry from gutting the company. Loaded with conflict, comedy, and a touch of romance, Other People’s Money delves into the seedy and deceptive world of business.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Teen Court of Sarasota’s Volunteer Recognition Dinner , August 1, 5:30pm-8:30pm

Join Teen Court of Sarasota in celebrating their adult volunteers and community leaders with an award presentation hosted by Judge Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center.Teen Court of Sarasota has awarded more than $188,000 in scholarships to dedicated volunteers since 1996. These scholarships assist recipients as they head off to college, the armed services and other endeavors. Scholarships further the mission and memories of distinguished Teen Court friends and volunteers, including Jack Byers, Dennis Wood, Katie Self and Jenna Hellman.

Judge Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center, 2002 Ringling 2nd Floor Court Room 2A

[SOON]  MUSIC: Brothers in Song , August 3, 7:15pm

“Brothers in Song” features longtime collaborators/composers Ralph Farris (strings, voice, percussion) and Robert Mirabal (Native American flutes, voice, percussion) performing music from various indigenous traditions and works in progress. The evening will begin with a collaboration with fellow Hermitage artist, poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and will close with a sunset meditation. Guests are encouraged to bring beach chairs, snacks, and refreshments. Reservations are strongly encouraged. 

The Hermitage, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood, FL.

[SOON]  THEATER: Wakey, Wakey , August 3 – September 2

How do we confront the uncomfortable inevitability of death? Obie-award-winning playwright Will Eno chooses to celebrate life’s lingering gifts with an uplifting mix of gratitude, absurdity and humor in a profound rumination on life and humanity.

Urbanite Theatre, 1487 2nd St., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: The Turn of the Screw , August 7 – August 26

1840: an era charmed by superstition, madness, and the writings of Sigmund Freud led Henry James to write one of the most chilling ghost stories of all time. A young governess arrives at a seemingly idyllic country house to look after two orphaned children. But shortly after her arrival, she realizes they are not alone. She risks everything to keep the children safe, until she begins to question her sanity, and the children’s innocence.

Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: On Golden Pond , August 8 – August 19

This 1979 play by Ernest Thompson focuses on aging couple Ethel and Norman Thayer, who spend each summer at their home on a lake called Golden Pond. The play explores the often turbulent relationship between a daughter and her father growing up, and the difficulties faced by a couple in the twilight years of a long marriage. It is the winner of numerous Tony and Drama Desk Awards.

Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: YP Summit: "Thrive" , August 10, 8am-12pm

The third annual Young Professionals summit is a half day conference geared toward helping local young professionals develop personally and professionally as leaders in the community. The summit will feature keynote speaker Trey Lauderdale, founder and CEO of Voalte, speaking on the work/life balance. In addition to the keynote presentation, attendees will select breakout sessions from two tracks: personal development and professional development. 

The Westin Sarasota, 100 Marina View Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  GALLERY: VOLUMES , August 12 – October 9

This summer light and sound come into play with a special installation by the artist Ezra Masch. VOLUMES harnesses the speed of light to reveal the volume of sound and space. This immersive audio and visual installation will feature a 3-d grid of LED lights that will fill the interior of the Ringling’s Monda Gallery.

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Ricky Nelson Remembered , August 18

Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Ricky Nelson emerged from “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” to establish himself as one of the most important rock artists and influential musicians of the last 50 years, selling over 140 million recordings. The Nelson Family Legacy continues as Ricky’s twins Matthew and Gunnar Nelson present an interactive, multi-media rock & roll concert experience, taking the audience on a musical journey down memory lane. 

Sarasota Opera, 61 North Pineapple Ave, Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Gilbert & Sullivan Unplugged , August 21 – September 23

Pour the pirate sherry, braid the raven hair, polish up the handle of the big brass door, and celebrate Gilbert & Sullivan’s most beloved songs. Gilbert & Sullivan Unplugged has delighted audiences across the US with lovingly loopy renditions and joyfully irreverent excerpts from HMS Pinafore, The Mikado, and The Pirates of Penzance. Last seen at New York’s 54 Below, this isn’t your grandmother’s Gilbert & Sullivan!

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Making Strides Kick Off Celebration , August 23, 5:30pm-7pm

Don’t miss the 2018 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kick off Celebration at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. Celebrate survivors, hear from Team Leaders and learn more about the mission of the American Cancer Society. If you have been thinking about starting a team, becoming a sponsor or you just wish to know more about the programs and services the American Cancer Society provides in our community, the Kick Off celebration is the place to start. Light refreshments will be served and complimentary valet parking is available.

Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Dr., Sarasota.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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